How to Decide if You’re Ready for a Dog

A furry friend can make a wonderful addition to your family, as long as you’re prepared. Dogs need plenty of space and exercise, and you need to be sure you can provide them with the best life. If you’re considering getting a dog, discuss it with your family and do some research first. Find out more about the impact your new pal will realistically have on your lifestyle. Here are a few questions to ask yourself to decide whether you’re ready for a dog.

How to Decide if You're Ready for a Dog

Do you have plenty of space?

You need the space for a dog. The amount of space you need depends on the breed, however. If you have a big garden you can get a large breed as they will need space to roam. If your outdoor space is limited you could opt for a smaller dog. Here is a guide to getting your first dog for further guidance and information on this.

Do you have lots of free time?

All dog breeds need exercise. This means you need to dedicate your free time to take them out for walks. They will need a walk every day. You can share the task with other members of your family if necessary. Here are some useful puppy and dog walking tips. You also need to consider your working hours and how long your dog might be left alone. Dogs need company so it’s not fair to leave them unattended all day in an empty house.

Have you made a realistic budget?

Many people forget to consider the cost of owning a dog. Although you can adopt them for next to nothing, they will come with maintenance costs. You’ll need to pay for food, vet bills, pet insurance, toys, and accessories. Make a realistic budget to confirm whether you can afford a dog.

Are you prepared to get your hands dirty?

Dogs can be messy. You will have to deal with muddy footprints and them doing their business in awkward places. As you prepare for a new dog, you should consider puppy-proofing your home and get ready to clean up after them. If you train your dog well, you should be able to stop it from chewing or scratching the furniture, but this takes time. All dogs are different and some puppies are better behaved than others. It’s still advisable to prepare yourself for things to get a little messy at the beginning.

Are your family on board?

If you get a dog it will have an impact on everyone you live with. Have a conversation with your partner before mentioning it to the kids to see if they’re on board. Ideally, it would be better if the whole family is prepared to pitch in. Dogs can be a lot of work so you need all the support you can get. Having said that, dogs make lovely companions for children and adults alike. As long as you take the decision seriously, one could be the perfect addition to your household.

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